Exchange Matters / April 26, 2019

The Leadership Corner: March-April 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and First Lady Melania Trump (center) pose for a photo with the 2019 International Women of Courage Awardees at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on March 7, 2019. Credit: U.S. Department of State photo by Ron Przysucha [Public Domain]

Hello Global Ties U.S. Community,

It’s finally springtime and I hope this finds you all thriving with sunnier days.

Each March, the U.S. Secretary of State presents the International Women of Courage Award to 10 extraordinary women who’ve profoundly changed their local environment and, in effect, the world. This award was first given by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2007 to recognize women who advocate for “peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.” Now in its 13th year, current U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recognized women from Bangladesh, Burma, Djibouti, Egypt, Ireland, Jordan, Montenegro, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania for the 2019 award.

As part of the award, the women also participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). I’m so grateful that they got to visit our colleagues at the Georgia Council for International Visitors, Global Minnesota, Global Ties Detroit, Gulf Coast Diplomacy Council, the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, San Diego Diplomacy Council, WorldBoston, WorldChicago, and WorldOregon. Thank you for undoubtedly leaving a tremendous impact on these remarkable change makers. I’m heartened to know that they have support throughout the United States. You can read more about their journey here.

At Global Ties U.S., we’re preparing for a busy summer and fall with our Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summits, in addition to kicking off our 2020-2023 strategic planning. We’re excited to chart our next three years, which will include the 80th anniversary of the IVLP and the 60th anniversary of Global Ties U.S.!

I’ll also be traveling the next two months to Manchester, NH; Boston, MA; Burlington, VT; Columbia, SC; Rochester and Buffalo, NY; San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX to see you in your element and learn how we can better support you.

We’re also mourning our colleague and friend, John Bersia, who passed away on March 21. Until January, John was a Global Ties U.S. Board Member. He was also board chair of the World Affairs Council of Central Florida. I was lucky to spend time with him in Orlando, FL soon after I began my tenure and saw first-hand the tremendous impact he had in the region, both in his work at the University of Central Florida and on his public television show, “Global Perspectives.” We will miss him dearly. I’d like to thank Sarah Ridley-Gal, Executive Director of WACCFL, for writing such a beautiful tribute to him in this edition of ExchangeMatters (read more). You and your community are in our thoughts, Sarah.

As always, please be in touch with any questions, concerns, or ideas. I look forward to getting back on the road and seeing many of you soon!

All my best,

Katherine Brown
President & CEO, Global Ties U.S.